RSS

Tag Archives: New Testamen History

Saul in Damascus

Luke divides Saul’s visit to Damascus into a few days in Acts 9:19 and into “many days” of preaching and debating with those having an opposing point of view concerning Jesus in Acts 9:20-23. Luke doesn’t mention Saul’s time in Arabia, but Saul claims he spent over two years there (Galatians 1:18), before returning to Jerusalem three years after he originally left for Damascus and this two-plus-year period comes between verses 19 and 20 in Acts 9. Read the rest of this entry »

 
2 Comments

Posted by on March 15, 2011 in Paul, Theology

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Paul’s Conversion

Paul never really speaks of being ‘converted,’ that is, he never applies the word to himself. However, he often speaks or writes of his transforming experience in meeting Jesus on the road to Damascus. He wrote of it at least three times in his epistles. Luke records this event another three times in Acts. He first records it as an historical event chronologically following on the heels of a very great and cruel persecution throughout Judea (Acts 8:1; 9:1-19). His second and third mentions of it occur in two of Paul’s speeches. The first of these occurred on the steps of the Antonia where Jesus was judged by Pilate. There Paul spoke with an angry Jewish mob who wanted to slay him just as he had done to Christians when he was a young man (Acts 22:1-21); and the third was before King Agrippa and Bernice (Acts 26:1-20). Read the rest of this entry »

 
2 Comments

Posted by on March 15, 2011 in Acts of the Apostles, Paul

 

Tags: , , , ,

Paul on the Damascus Road

Have you ever stopped to consider the astonishing suddenness of the great persecutor of the Church of God becoming the great Apostle of Jesus Christ? Paul had been making havoc with the body of believers in Judea (Acts 8:3). After about a year and a half after Stephen’s death, Paul sought extraditions orders from the high priest to arrest believers of the Way in Damascus and bring them back to Jerusalem for trial (Acts 9:1-2). He and a few others from the elders probably traveled with a caravan going north following the Jordan River. Read the rest of this entry »

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 15, 2011 in Acts of the Apostles, Paul

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Saul the Persecutor of the Way

Did you ever wonder what it was like in Judea just after Stephen was martyred? The persecution was leveled at the liberal branch of the Way—the Hellenist believers, but this doesn’t mean other believers escaped. The Apostles were beaten in Acts 5 for preaching the Gospel and this would have been no different. When the persecution broke out, Saul entered house after house dragging off both men and women to prison and to appear before the council (Acts 8:3). Many scattered throughout Judea and Samaria and along the coast of the Mediterranean (Acts 8:1) Read the rest of this entry »

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 15, 2011 in Paul, Stephen

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Persecution Over Blasphemy!

I have read many commentaries of Stephen’s death and of Paul’s persecuting believers of the Way, that conclude first the witnesses lied saying Stephen cursed the Temple and the Law, and secondly that Paul tried to cause believers to curse Jesus. These things are not true, at least not in the sense that we understand cursing today. Jesus was crucified under the charge of blasphemy. I have two blogs on this: (1) Jesus Before the Sanhedrin and (2) Jesus Before Pilate, and they show beyond doubt that the Scriptures conclude Jesus was crucified under the charge of blasphemy, despite the plaque that Pilate had nailed above Jesus’ head. Read the rest of this entry »

 
4 Comments

Posted by on March 14, 2011 in Blasphemy, Stephen

 

Tags: , , , , ,

The Beginning of Messianic Persecution

The persecution of the Jesus Movement began only months after that first Pentecost when Peter preached his sermon accusing the people and their leaders of killing the Elect One—Jesus. Some accuse Luke of great exaggeration in his claims of the thousands of new believers repenting and coming to Jesus after each of Peter’s sermons. In a matter of days the only unbelievers in Jerusalem would have been the ruling class. But, this is a gross misunderstanding of the text. Luke highlights the history of the growth of the body following the Way. Read the rest of this entry »

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 14, 2011 in Acts of the Apostles, Chronology

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Family Background of Saul of Tarsus

We aren’t certain why Paul came to be born in the capital city of Cilicia, but it may have been that his ancestors were among those that Antiochus IV resettled from Galilee cir. 171 BCE with the promise of immediate citizenship there. The Syrian rulers often colonized recently conquered territories with their own citizens in order to solidify their authority there. Jewish citizens were often seen as a preferred group for colonization, perhaps because they also had such strong religious allegiance to the Seleucid province of Judea as well. Paul’s father was a Pharisee and probably a master tentmaker living in Tarsus. “The black tents of Tarsus were used by caravans, nomads, and armies all over Asia Minor and Syria.”[1] Read the rest of this entry »

 
3 Comments

Posted by on March 14, 2011 in Paul

 

Tags: , , , , , ,